Cecilia Lueza is known for her colorful public art projects, including the vivid “ground mural” that turns asphalt into art at the busy intersection of 5th Street North and Central Avenue.
This project brought color to an area not known for art before — the concrete pier that stretches into the Bay, just north of downtown. This mural was designed to be simple and stunning from aerial views.
Cecilia Lueza Art Projects created the design. Dynasty Financial Partners sponsored the project and 60 employees volunteered to help.
This mural at North Shore Park is like a treasure hunt to find – the concrete pier it’s on is obvious, a pier that juts out in the water. But unless you’re standing right in front of it, you see the mural when you’re just about to step on it.
Just north of St. Pete’s busy downtown waterfront, where 10th Avenue North dead-ends into a parking lot off North Shore Drive, right along the water – a narrow concrete pier stretches out into the Bay.
It’s the kind of everyday Florida pier that people fish off of, or sit on, or pull a kayak up to, on a tiny beach with birds picking their way along the shore. As you approach it through the thick soft sand, crossing beach volleyball courts and heaps of fragrant seaweed – the pier just looks like ordinary grey concrete from either side, with sailboats rocking in the waves around it.
But from the end of the pier that connects to the beach, where concrete starts emerging from the sand and heading straight into the water – colorful bands of dark and light blue begin zig-zagging across the concrete – and turn into angled red, yellow-green and orange, and then blue again – bolts of color heading out into the water.
The mural begins near the waterline, 11 feet wide and a hundred and twenty feet long, covering the surface of the pier with thick, angled strips of color. Each color makes one zig, and then a zag, like a big sideways letter V. Another color’s painted in the triangle that V leaves.
Then the next zig-zag begins beside that, so the pattern’s like a line of giant sideways letter V’s, with each one facing in the opposite direction. The light and dark blues at the start meet a triangle of yellow-green, that leads into orange, red and yellow-green, and winds up with another triangle of yellow-green that joins with more blues, to the tip of the pier.
From the pier, to your right is St Pete’s busy downtown waterfront. To your left, across the water, the houses and lush trees of Snell Isle stretch into the Bay. And behind you are the joggers, walkers, bikers, volleyballers and beachgoers enjoying North Shore Park.
It’s a quiet stretch of St. Pete’s lovely downtown waterfront, with seagulls squawking and the creak of sailboats rocking just offshore. Cecilia Lueza designed this mural to be a shock of color in aerial pictures of downtown St. Pete. The mural stands out beautifully against the rich blue water.
People sit on the raised edge of the mural, like a bench, and enjoy the breeze out over the waves. Dynasty Financial Partners sponsored the mural and 60 employees volunteered to help, using paint rollers with long handles, like mops.
Like all of Cecilia Lueza’s work, this is a celebration of humanity and color – and a pleasant surprise, like a child’s chalk drawing on a stretch of sidewalk.